I Wrote a Boo-ook! Na Na Na Poo Poo!

 

Oh right- you’re just sooo perfect! News flash–Just because I procrastinate and lack focus, drive and vision does not mean I’ll never make it in this stupid world. And who even cares that I’ve been saying for 30 years: I should write a book. I have a great idea for a children’s book. I would absolutely write a book but it’s hardly my fault the market is saturated and my pretend agent quit which again… not my fault.

Well, you can stop talking about me behind my back because I did write a children’s book thank you very much. You heard me. I wrote it with two of my favorite people:small names myself and I. Yep. It’s a real book and it’s going to be published by a real publisher named Chocolate River Publishing in Riverview, NB. I’ll be sure to wave at you when I’m on Ellen. (PS- Despite the tone I’m copping here, I really need you to buy 10 books MINIMUM as I need new granite counter tops. Promise? Blessings to you and your family!)

The book is called Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart! and it’s about a Canada goose with no sense of direction and no- it is not autobiographical, thank you very much! Besides… having no sense of direction is an adorable trait which leads to out of the way road trips, unplanned adventures and divorce- so suck it. Ta da! Here’s the cover:

book cover

Fine. Be weird and super nitpicky about the details– I suppose I did have a tiny bit of help writing it, but I still deserve the lion’s share of the royalties no matter what those stupid lawyers say! My co-writers, small names(Put your bloody glasses on if you can’t see! Hardly my fault.) did contribute to the book. Blah. Blah. Blah. If you must know–Two years ago, the three of us were on a road trip to a writers’ workshop when they came up with the silly idea of writing a book about a Canada goose with no sense of direction. I said, “What a great idea! Wait… It’s great because geese normally have a sense of direction, right guys? Answer me!!” (Don’t say I said so but it became clear early on that they were ‘know it alls’). I daydreamed about my impending fame while they blathered on about a goose named after some famous female pilot I’ve never even heard of who gets lost in New Brunswick and searches for a place named Branta Bog because apparently the scientific name…or genus (huh??) of geese is ‘Branta’. OMG Whatever. (I still prefer my idea about a pony that eats poison grass and spews purple foam from its mouth (HAHA! Right?) but we can’t all have what we want, apparently.)

Anyway, I was hesitant to go ahead with this project for obvious reasons, one being that I’m a diva lone wolf. Once my creative writing juices start flowing, I do not tolerate interruptions. See for yourself how I roll:

Turn on computer. Make coffee. Drink coffee. Check Facebook. Check Twitter. Dry dishes. Make more coffee. Drink coffee. Have a light surf and turf snack. Stare out the window. Re-heat coffee. Sigh. Pluck chin hair. Check Pinterest. Check Facebook. Fold clothes. Stare at screen. Sigh. Imagine fame. Smile. Go for walk. Turn off computer.

Oh, pardon me. You were crowned Ms Productivity 2015 were you?? Well, drop dead for ME, thinking and eating planning are a huge part of the writing process.  You can’t just jump right in. You have to daydream a little. Everyone knows that. Everyone except small names that is. Cripes. Here’s where the rubber hit the road:

Them: Let’s get started tomorrow.

Me: Well, why the rush not!? (Nervous laughter)

Our first meeting was at odette's house. I knew this collaboration was going to be a total disaster when I looked up after six minutes of non-stop writing and realized we hadn’t taken a break. When I dared to suggest I needed a nap or a snack, they got in such a huff!  Oh- and when we finally went for a walk on the gorgeous beach in front of her gorgeous house (show-off) and I pointed to a flock of ducks overhead and by mistake yelled, “GEESE!” was the second time they got all huffy on me. Deep breath, small names. Jeepers.

We each had something to bring to the writing table but mainly me. beth thinks big and says we’ll get Camelia Airheart on TV, even though I’m the one who should be on TV. Hmmph. She also sings and she wrote and recorded the Branta Bog Ballad for our book, which I could have done in my sleep but no one asked, for the record. Odette is logical and practical and tells us we have to write the thing first and that no we can’t finish this book and write a sitcom by the end of the day (no one likes her). Oh, and she just happens to be the big shot illustrator for our book. I submitted goose drawings for the book too but they said, “Don’t call us. We’ll call you.” Fine. Be that way. Well, news flash– I also have talents: I drink a lot of coffee for inspiration and sometimes I get chocolate on my face from snack break persnickety and scream say stuff like: “Oh yes we will use a colon rather than a dash!” See? We’re all special in our own way.

By the end of summer, I have to say I was getting tired of their constant lording their hoity toity facts over me. Yes, we wanted the book to be an authentic representation of our province but good Lord! At times I felt like I was in a friggin’ geography class. Check it:

Geese come from the Gulf of Mexico at that time of year.

The Bay of Fundy has tides.

New Brunswick has many trees.

Blah. Blah. Blah. I held my head high though. I’m no idiot and I had important information to share too. Check it:

Debating between ‘a’ and ‘the’ for 1.5 hours is NOT obsessive. It’s called editing. Google it for once in your life.

A semi-colon most certainly can be used in every sentence; furthermore, I find it hurtful that I was dubbed ‘Semi-Colleen’.

The perfect latte is 2:1 frothed milk to coffee. Obviously. (They didn’t even know this. OMG)

Looking back, I never got used to being bullied into writing all the bloody time, but word on the street is that’s what it takes to get published. Anyway, back to me and how I felt: bullied. Look at the photo below to see what I’ve dealt with. We are in a restaurant and they’re still working for the luvofgod! I know it looks like I’m not contributing but I’m actually mentally planning tomorrow’s dinner the sequel okay? Chill.

Joeys

I suppose letting small namesin on my writing project isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever done, since my solitary writing wasn’t going super great- but only because I was too busy writing with them!! Here’s what I had so far:

The An A small tiny little duck gigantic goose flew hurled skittered raced over above across a the sky horizon atmosphere.

Whatever. My pretend agent wants me to strike out on my own eventually, and with some a lobotomy elbow grease I’m sure I can write my own friggin’ book; however, I’ll probably stick with small names for now because God knows they don’t have a blessed clue what to do with a semi-colon. Besides, I have way more Facebook friends than they do so how the heck would they even market a book without me? Duh. I’ll take pity on them and stay for one more book. Well, maybe a series. And a TV show. And a modelling contract. But that’s it! Then I’m goin’ solo. They’ll just have to deal with it.

PS Don’t forget to buy 1000 books okay? My counter tops are coming tomorrow and I have no means of paying for them so giddy-up!

PPS I’ll let you know when/where the books are available. They cost $10.95 each and here’s a special deal for you: I’ll give you 5 for $55.Don’t bother with your calculator. Just trust me- it’s a steal!  Bam. Write the cheque to me please. I’ll be sure the others don’t get their share. Blessings.

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The Car was Intelligent and I Wasn’t, Darn it!

Greetings, readers!  There’s been a lapse. I realize that. It’s easy to explain: I’m lazy and uninspired and Netflix takes up all my time. Sue me.

Since I realized how long it had been since I posted, I sat down for days and wrote furiously to try and make it up to you. Wait. Sorry. No. I’m getting myself mixed up with famous writers who sell books. Sounds way too hard so instead, I reached into my old writing files, pulled out one I wrote a couple of years ago, sent it to the website that honors the one and only Erma Bombeck and since the powers that be were having a slow day, they posted it (I don’t CARE if I had to pay them to do it. That’s not the POINT).

Click on the link below to read it. Notice how youthful I looked- I mean ‘look’. No sense posting a new photo as I look exactly like that. Even better probably.

You know the drill- send it to Ellen. Make me famous. Blah blah blah.

http://humorwriters.org/2016/02/14/the-car-was-intelligent-and-i-wasnt-darn-it/

The Joy of Christmas?

Don’t get all judgey on me like you do sometimes. Look, I’m tapped out and I’m double-dipping with this blog post. Deal with it. Of all things: Thanks to my childhood bestie’s (Deirdre!) mother (Thanks, Maureen!), who lives in Ireland, my writing ended up in a glossy and gorgeous annual Christmas magazine published by The Irish Times! I was asked to write it. You heard me. Asked!! For once in my life I wasn’t stalking publishers/editors and then sending them dead festering rabbits hate mail for rejecting me. Hmmmph.

The Irish Times rocks it and if they begged me to write a monthly column for them, I would definitely think about it for two seconds and then I’d probably accept their gracious offer, which hopefully would include a free trip to Ireland. Whatever. Even a bi-monthly column would be cool. Or thrice yearly. Just call my people me and we’ll talk…

And without further adieu, here is the article that appeared in this Christmas magazine (I was very surprised to see my picture on the cover too. Two words: Hair extensions) on November 4. Bam. If the print is too small (which it is…), you can view it herearticle

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Putting the “I” Back in Christmas

Christmas shopping used to unhinge me. I’d go from store to store wracking my brain for innovative and unique gifts for my loved ones. I’d wait in never-ending line-ups inevitably getting arrested for screaming obscenities impatient and huffy. Then, after lugging my treasures home, I’d second-guess every last one of ‘em. Disgusted, I would set them all on fire aside until I could think straight. Grrrr. It was so frustrating!! I just wasn’t feeling the Christmas joy everyone blathered on about.

One evening, after hours of watching Netflix meditating by a roaring fire, I unearthed the source of my anger: There was nothing in it for me! Since changing my attitude and putting the “I” back in Christmas, my mood has spiked exponentially. You heard me. Buying myself awesome prezzies will surely have a ripple effect on my family’s well-being. It’s for the greater good, Miss Judgey Captain Samaritan!

Let’s start with this gorgeous, embossed pottery mug I bought at a holiday craft show last weekend. Check it:

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Um. It’s more than just a pretty mug, FYI. It has the potential to save Christmas. Look: Here’s me drinking from a plain, chipped mug last Christmas. Do I look happy to you??

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Yes it IS chipped. You just can’t see it! Never mind…

Now…here’s how I think I’ll look sipping a perfectly- foamed latte from from my new, unchipped mug this year:

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Now you’re talkin’!

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The spin-offs will be endless: If I’m happy, I’ll be inclined to make a lovely Christmas breakfast, a fabulous turkey dinner and even overlook the credit card bill mountains of torn, discarded wrapping paper that’s invisible to everyone but me. Happy me = oblivious happy family. Duh. It’s not rocket science, you guys.

I just love these leather bracelets I snagged at aforementioned craft show!

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I figured I’d save my husband the trouble of buying the ‘wrong’ kind, which could lead to icy tension on Christmas morning (You’re welcome, honey!). I hope there’s no tension when he finds out I bought a Harley so I’d have some place to wear the ‘biker chick’ bracelets. Stay tuned (insert nervous laughter)! Sometimes I get so caught up in the spirit of giving that I lose my house head.

Enough about me! Back to my family: Do you think for one minute they enjoy seeing me with puffy, dull eyes on Christmas morning? Hardly… so for their viewing pleasure, I purchased this purple eye liner with just a touch of glitter.

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It brings out the golden specks in my pupils and my boys go nuts for that. Look closely and you’ll see the specks:

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After they say stuff like: “Where’s the presents?” “Mom, your eyes are so pretty this morning!” I’ll be in a better mood. See bit about breakfast, turkey dinner and discarded wrapping paper above. Follow me so far?

Sigh. I feel sick that my family has to see me every Christmas morning in the same friggin’ birthday suit flannel pjs. I know they feel sorry for me and wish I would treat myself so I selflessly did! Ta da!!

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It screams Feliz Navidad right? Gosh, I hope it’s not too red and shiny- I don’t want to hog all the attention. See? There I go second-guessing again. ARGH.

This wine is super delish so I picked up a case bottle for a little treat.

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Picture this: Me sipping wine, while sporting this new gorgeous/glam black top (Like it?? I bought it yesterday…) on Christmas Eve. Swoon.

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Everyone knows I’m a blast from Christmas past when I look like a rock star and I’ve had a few too many glasses. I tell hilarious jokes. I dance even if there’s no music. I dredge up the ugly past festive appetizers from the deep freeze. It’s a win/win and all because I bought myself a little somethin’ somethin’. Jealous yet?

Listen, I realize this is unorthodox but don’t forget: This is for my family. I repeat: This is for myself family. I shudder when I think about the puffy-eyed, bracelet-less, chipped-mug Christmases of past and how my family suffered because of it. Poor them. This Christmas is going to be different though! I can feel it. What could go wrong? Ahhh crap! I just remembered something super important that might affect Christmas morning afterall: I forgot to buy gifts for my family my special eggnog coffee! I hope there’s still time…

The Sunshine Award

 

Thanks(ish) to fellow blogger, Dan Alatorre, for nominating me for the very fake lovely Sunshine Award! I honestly don’t know what it is but if I had to guess, I’d say I got nominated because I’m sizzlin’ hot like the sun. Makes sense. Dan has been kind enough to promote me and he’s given me some solid advice to help me get myself out there, like suggesting I actually write stuff now and again. Tough crowd! Chill, Dan. Speaking of writing, check out his blog: http://danalatorre.com. He helps lazy writers and he has lots of published books. Blah. Blah. Blah. I’m not jealous. You are.

Anyhoo, to show him I’m not the lazy sloth he thinks I am, I’m responding to this nomination by answering the questions he gave me. To make me suffer pay it forward, apparently I then have to nominate 11 bloggers (scroll, people) and ask them my own questions. Those bloggers must:

  • Thank me with cash on their blog
  • Nominate 11 bloggers
  • Give them 11 questions to answer

 

The idea is to get on Ellen more blog followers and to promote fellow bloggers at the same time. Sounds hard like fun! Here are my answers to the questions Dan gave me:

 

  • Where is the strangest place you even made whoopee?

Well, that’s a VERY PERSONAL QUESTION, but I’m nothing if not honest (laughs nervously). I haven’t shared this with many people but…I once made whoopee pies in my friend’s kitchen back in- oh let me think- Grade 5 I think.  They were delicious; I ate 3 in a row and literally almost threw up! You heard me. I love whoopee PIES and to this day I make them whenever I feel the need for some excitement. Bam.

  • Share a blog post you wrote that meant a lot to you and tell us why you picked that one.

Mojitos 4 Sale: Limit: 5(ish) Per Customer was a turning point for me; it involved props, one of my sons as photographer, and a complete loss of my dignity. As I hauled out the table, chair, and glass pitcher and watched my husband shake his head in disbelief, and neighbours call the cops slow down to investigate, I knew then and there I would do bloody anything for my craft…and that I had no pride. See for yourself: https://onehotflashinmama.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/mojitos-4-sale-limit-5-ish-per-customer/

  • Kiss a stranger OR eat a Scotch egg? (And you can’t look up Scotch eggs before answering!)

Are you spying on me or what?? I just did those very two things this morning. My husband wasn’t pleased that I kissed a stranger ate his last Scotch egg but a girl’s gotta live, am I right?

  • Rob a WalMart or wear a bikini at the beach?

Duh. Wear a bikini to WalMart. Always. Wait…what was the question?

  • What is your deepest fear about your writing?

That once Ellen Degeneres reads it, she’ll be insecure about her own writing/life. I’d feel good bad about that and it’s the main reason I am not more ambitious about it. I’m just gonna let her shine. I’m a giver that way.

  • What is your best book?

I loved The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt- It was so beautifully written it almost felt like she was just showing off: Oooh…look how I can string those words together to create literary beauty, win awards and get rich. Give it a rest, Miss Perfect Hemingway.

  • Do you get manicures, and if so, when was your last one and what did it cost?

This is a touchy subject. The last manicure I received was from a 3-year old. #nightmare. It was free but I paid a price. Sigh. I didn’t want to talk about it but you asked. So I go to my cousin’s house and his daughter, who is adorable beyond measure, says she can paint my nails and I quote: “Make them pwetty”. I believed her. After the 9th coat of glittery silver polish I knew things weren’t going to get better. She made a mess of my hands and for weeks I walked around with silver, glittery nails and knuckles. Obviously I’m suing for false advertising. She can’t hide behind that ridiculous cuteness her whole life. Right? Answer me.

  • Jacuzzi or dry sauna?

Dry jacuzzi, obviously… although sometimes I wonder when I’m in there what the heck the point of it is! What do others do? Inbox me.

Who is your favorite author ever and who is your favorite that you’ve read this year? (This year’s doesn’t have to be published)

Because I have only one brain cell left at the end of the day, I’m focusing my limited energy on funny books. Mindy Kaling is my new obsession. Her latest book, Why Not Me?  is hilarious. However, just because she has written books and created, and stars in a sitcom and goes to big-ass Hollywood events, doesn’t mean she’s better than I am. Right?? Answer me.

What author or blogger would you like to sit down and have drinks with?

Funny you should ask! I just finished a bottle of gin and tonic all alone, and I chatted non-stop. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: Should I start a new blog post today?

Me: Meh. Maybe tomorrow.

Me: Ok. Want a latte?

Me: Yes!!

Beyond talking to and drinking by myself, I’d love a chat with Dan Alatorre- the nice blogger/author from Florida who kindly nominated me for this fake award. Maybe if I asked him nicely enough, he would use his connections to get me on the Ellen show. Cough. Cough.

  • If you have one piece of career advice to share with the readers here, what would it be?

 I hate to be coy but I can’t really give away all my secrets. However…I am offering a workshop called Not Livin’ the Dream: Follow Your Sugar Daddy Heart. Inbox me for details. Everyone welcome. Not reasonably priced.

 

So there you have it! I feel naked after revealing those deep secrets to my dear followers but if it means I’ll have fame and fortune more blog followers and promote fellow bloggers, so be it! Besides, I bet you’ve made whoopie pies in Grade 5 too so judge someone who gives a crap!

 

Hop to it nominees! This exercise only took me 48 days. I challenge you to complete it in fewer than 45 days. Here are the lucky(ish) nominees. There is no obligation but if you don’t participate, I will start a trend on Twitter with the hashtag Be that way. #bethatway

 

 

Aaaaand here are my 11 titillating questions:

  1. What was your worst vacation? Don’t leave anything out.
  2. What was your best vacation? Do leave things out.
  3. Who is your favourite writer? Don’t be shy. You must can say it’s me.
  4. What’s your favourite book?
  5. What’s your best piece of writing advice?
  6. Do you write best in the morning or later in the day? Describe your writing routine.
  7. What would you do with a million dollars (after giving me a small cut? ‘Small cut’ means ten grand, FYI)
  8. Share your favourite blog post and tell us why you chose it.
  9. Have you scratched anything off your Bucket List lately? Heck, do you even have one?
  10. If you could meet one famous person, who would it be and why?
  11. Can you get me on the Ellen show?

 

Our Thanksgiving Was Totally Hot

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I certainly did for obvious reasons: Thanksgiving means kitchen time and that, dear friends, is where I suck shine big time! I can’t decide which I like more: The planning or the execution of Turkey Day! It’s all a potpourri of misery fun! I’ll share my tips for success with you if you promise not to be jealous. Focus on your own strengths and never mind comparing yourself to me. Disclaimer: Not everyone despises embodies Martha Stewart like I do.

My quest for the perfect Thanksgiving meal, which I hoped to brag about share on Facebook always begins weeks before the big day. I spend hours on the Internet searching for things like: How to cook a turkey so no one dies of salmonella memorable Thanksgiving meal. Then I make sure I have all the little extras to make the day extra special, such as LSD pretty napkins and a centrepiece for the table. Finally, I search for the turkey to end all turkeys. When I finally find the organic, vegan, sustainable bird at the local market, and the sweet elderly farmer tells me the price I double over and scream, “WTF!!” check to make sure it will feed eight people.

Let’s just say when Sunday came, I felt confident and prepared. As my husband and two sons slept soundly, I sighed loudly and barged tiptoed downstairs to jumpstart the magical day. I fetched the turkey from the fridge and basted it upside friggin down with a blend of sage, rosemary and thyme. Jealous yet? (Wink) As the bird roasted in the oven, I quietly counted my wine bottles blessings to remind myself of the whole purpose of Thanksgiving. Duh. When my husband woke up, I asked him to peel some potatoes. He obliged, bless him. It warmed my heart to see him standing there cutting those vegetables into non-symmetrical pieces with the wrong knife such enthusiasm. Swoon.

Things were under control and then some!  Later that afternoon, my husband left to pick up our older son at university. My younger son was upstairs (probably cleaning his room again). I basked in the peaceful quiet and as the God-sent LSD turkey aroma kicked in, my senses heightened. It was wonderful! I wanted a second look at that psychedelic golden bird so I opened the oven to baste it. Caught up in the excitement (Now, don’t pretend you don’t love turkey basting, missus…), I pushed the turkey a little too vigorously and it went over the bottom rack and into the oven. Not to worry! My LSD trip calm demeanour and positive attitude saved the day! I just marvelled at all the turkey drippings floating in the bottom of my oven and hollered to no one in particular, “You miserable piece of—! “Who needs gravy anyway? It’s so fattening! Let’s hear it for cranberry sauce!” Things don’t always turn out as we plan but remaining drugged cool is a must!

I was tickled pink when our extended family arrived later that afternoon! Don’t say I said so but I did find them to be a tad dramatic, with all their hacking and crawling on all fours because the kitchen was “filled with smoke”.  Sure, the turkey juice that coated the oven got a little smoky but it’s not like the place was on fire. Sheesh. Anyway, once the smoke thinned a bit, we had a blast. I hadn’t formally organized any games but sometimes things just erupt spontaneously and you have to go with the flow.

We played:

Guess the Meat.

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Silence The Smoke Detector

addyPHil and addy

Team Hair Dryer won the challenge.  Good on ya, guys!! Ha ha

And my personal favourite: Guess How Many of These I Can Guzzle the Grape! I won this one, BTW. Yay me!

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As the games wrapped up, wouldn’t you know it? I realized I’d forgotten to put a water pitcher on the table. Grrr. Oh, and the oven caught fire. (Oh sure. You’ve never done this before. You’re sooo perfect)

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My quick-thinking husband raced into action and poured baking soda all over the fire like he does to me when we play Rescue Me, Big Boy. I’m on Fire! But that’s none of your damn business.

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Anyway, everything turned out fine. We hauled the turkey out of the oven and the crispy skin was the piece de resistance, thank you very much. What happened next blew everyone away. My handsome husband got down on one knee, looked deep into my eyes and- wait for it-sprayed a can of Easy-Off into the septic tank of an oven!!  I was so shocked I screamed, “OMG, Yes! This is the happiest day of my life!!” There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

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Finally, with the fire merriment behind us, we sat down to eat. We toasted each other and promised to order in gather again next year. So what’s my secret to a successful Thanksgiving, you ask? Bascially, it all comes down to going insane with the flow, drinking pinot noir in the sight of loved ones, and counting your baking soda boxes blessings. I’ll admit not everything went according to plan but I did get a new Facebook profile picture to share with my friends! It may not be the stunning table with mountains of food, or the finely-dressed and smiling family singing Kumbaya that I’d imagined but it does reflect our festive and flammable fun-filled Thanksgiving. Again, don’t be jealous. You probably have a nice profile picture too:

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Stupid Milestones

We moved our son to university last weekend and honestly, it brought me right back to therapy my first day of university 23 25 30(ish) years ago. Look, this isn’t about how old I am, okay?? Focus! It’s about my boy and how eerily similar our experiences were: His sense of urgency was non-existent astounding; his organizational and planning skills were non-existent mind-boggling; and his emotions were non-existent all over the place. It was a regular Thursday whirlwind, let me tell you!

For the two days leading up to his move to campus, I had out-of-body experiences town meetings. Before leaving, I reminded our capable son to do his laundry. Upon seeing my lips move, he strummed his guitar and nodded. At least I think it was a nod. There was definitely head (no eye) movement. To be sure we were on the same page, I texted him later that evening. I kept it loose and friendly to offset his underlying emotional turmoil:

Me: Hi. What did you do today? Say ‘laundry’ or I’ll drive off a bridge I swear to God.

Max: Nothing

Me: Please remember to do your laundry and I’ll help you pack tomorrow ok?

Max: Yep

The tone of his text was persuasive and reassuring; therefore, I knew I had nothing to worry about. He was on it! I slept like a colicky baby that night.  The next day I checked in again to confirm that things were status quo on schedule:

Me: Hi. How’s it going?

Max: Good

Me: What are you up to?

Max: Just hangin

Me: Did you do your laundry yet? Say ‘yes’ or I’ll drive off a bridge I swear to God.

Max: Nah. I will

Me: You leave tomorrow…Are you trying to kill me going to be ready??

Max: Ya

On the drive home from my meetings the next day, I panicked about the lack of time left for the meds urgency to kick in. I would have to move away things along. The following timeline reveals how effective I was. Check it:

5:00- I arrive home to this:

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5:05- I Google directions to the nearest bridge remind Max that we have to start packing.

5:30- I remind Max that we have to start packing.

5:45- I remind Max that we have to start packing.

6:00-He finally gets it.

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6:30- Max decides he needs binders.  He goes to the mall.

7:30- He returns home with five binders and some pens.

7:45- He throws in a (massive) load of (multi-coloured) laundry. I drink a B52 in the image of him finally taking ownership.

8:30- He puts his clothes in the dryer and takes a much needed break.

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8:40- I ask him to drive me to the nearest bridge put in another load and fold the first one.

8:45- I ask him to put in another load and fold the first one.

8:50- We put our foot down. Enough is enough.

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9:15 I get my tubes tied the bag of toiletries I bought him.

9:30- Max finally gets emotional and unloads: “Did you buy me razors?”  I choke up, obviously.

9:45- He throws his worldly goods into garbage bags and says something profound, “There. Done.” I reach for more Kleenex.

The next morning, he raced out of bed at 11:00 and downed six bowls a bowl of cereal. There was very little eye contact. He tried to mask his pain but I saw right through it. A mother knows…

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As I watched my baby boy gather his things, I flashed back to my first day of university and how I had a mental breakdown cried when I left home. I insisted on taking some pictures. It killed me to see his lip quiver. Zoom in-it’s there:

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We loaded up the truck. During the drive I gave him one last opportunity to share his feelings with me. I asked how he was feeling and if he felt ready for this new chapter in his life. He responded as I’d hoped: “Good” and “Yup”. Don’t be jealous.

After we dropped him off, unpacked him, bought his books, bought him snacks for his room, and paid his residence fee, my husband and I declared bankruptcy it was time to go. He walked us out. I was hit by another memory of my mother and me crying as we said good-bye on the campus steps and me threatening to jump off a bridge I waited for an emotional farewell with our boy. We hugged him and I told him to text me hourly if he needed anything. He walked back to his residence and pretended not to hear as I hollered, “Wait! You forgot your Thomas the Tank lunch box, sweetie! Good luck!”

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On the drive home, I checked my phone to see if he’d texted. He hadn’t. Obviously, his battery died. Duh. As I tucked my phone into my purse, I got a speck of dust in my eye and had to wear my sunglasses all the way home. Stupid milestones dust. Whatever.

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